Learn the Most Recent Age Requirements for COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters
10 August- The COVID-19 virus hasn’t gone away. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), viruses like COVID-19 constantly change through mutation. Sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus, such as the Omicron variant. And new variants will continue to emerge. Slowing the spread of the virus can help slow the emergence of new variants. The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to get your vaccines and booster shots. “Getting vaccinated and boosted is the most effective way to reduce your risk of becoming severely ill, if you get COVID-19,” said Dr. David Loran, a nurse practitioner with the Defense Health Agency Immunization Healthcare Division at Naval Medical Center San Diego. “We encourage all TRICARE beneficiaries who are eligible to get vaccinated and stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.” It’s important to keep up with the new vaccine and booster eligibilities for you and your family. More children are now eligible for booster shots to keep up their resistance to the virus. Let’s look at the most recent updates for various age groups.
Age 6 months–4 years:
In June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months. Children get a smaller dose of COVID-19 vaccine than teens and adults. This dosage depends on the child’s age on the day of vaccination, not on their size and weight.
Age 5–17 years:
The CDC now recommends children ages 5 and up get one booster dose after completing their COVID-19 vaccine primary series, if eligible. Children and teens ages 5 to 17 who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are at increased risk of severe illness with COVID-19 and may need additional primary shots and booster doses. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and dosage for children and teens.
Adults (ages 18 and up):
All adults age 18 or older who received Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen primary series can get a first booster. The CDC recommends a second booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least four months after the first booster for:
It’s never too late to get the added protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Even if you’ve had COVID-19 before, the CDC recommends you still get the vaccine. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re eligible for a booster, the CDC website now has a booster tool to help you learn when you or your child qualify, based on age and health status. Health.mil
Secretary of Defense Austin Issues Guidance for Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members
25 August- Today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III issued a memorandum for Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination of Department of Defense Service Members. The memo directs the Secretaries of the Military Departments to immediately begin full vaccination of all members of the Armed Forces under DoD authority on active duty or in the Ready Reserve, including the National Guard, who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance. Service members voluntarily immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine under FDA Emergency Use Authorization or World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing in accordance with applicable dose requirements prior to, or after, the establishment of this policy are considered fully vaccinated. Service members who are actively participating in COVID-19 clinical trials are exempted from mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 until the trial is complete in order to avoid invalidating such clinical trial results. The Secretaries of the Military Departments were also directed to impose ambitious timelines for implementation and to report regularly on vaccination completion using established systems for other mandatory vaccine reporting. Defense.gov
Normalize being human: Calisthenics for the mind
20 August- It’s crazy how much a simple question like, “how are you doing”, makes a difference. Maybe it's the eye-contact, the posture of another directed at us, or the fact that we get so wrapped up in our daily tasks and responsibility of deployment, that we never stop and take the time to ask ourselves that very question. According to a 2020 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in the form of mental, behavioral or emotional disorders. The study also showed that suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34.
But this article isn’t about seemingly scary statistics like that. It is about being human. It’s about the idea that like any other muscle, the mind must be exercised and cared for to prevent more serious issues, like those stated above. This is especially true for U.S. service members deployed to places like Prince Sultan Air Base in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who oftentimes find themselves in stressful situations. One of the most important goals in the education of mental health is to reduce the negative attitudes and misconceptions that surround mental health. Ignoring mental health due to negative perceptions can cause isolation and can intensify symptoms. It’s no different than physical activities. Stretching is seen as preventative self-care. It keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and that flexibility is needed to maintain a range of motion in the joints to preempt injury. There is no stigmatization when it comes to stretching, and what the soldiers and airmen of the 378th Mental Health Clinic are trying to do is create a similar normalization when it comes to preventive practices for individual mental health. “The overall mission of what we're doing here is providing mental health, outreach and prevention services to our airmen and soldiers,” said Army Capt. Timothy Fillmore, a social worker assigned to the 378th Expeditionary Medical Squadron. “If our airmen and soldiers can’t function well at the individual level how can they be part of the team and support the mission?” Sleep, anxiety and anger issues is what the team has seen thus far during their out-and-abouts around PSAB. These are the little things in life that people deal with everyday, but these are the roots of many more severe mental health issues. DVIDS
Avoid summertime food poisoning with these easy tips
12 August- Summertime heat and outdoor events can put everyone at increased risk of contracting severe foodborne illness so it's more important than ever to stick to a few key safety guidelines to make sure you and your guests don't get sick. "A simple rule of thumb is: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Melissa Amescua, a registered dietitian and nutrition program manager for the Navy's 21st Century Sailor Office in Millington, Tennessee. "Letting these foods get outside of their allowed temperature ranges will increase the odds for one to get sick," Amescua said. "This range is called the 'danger zone,'" she explained. Other important tips for summer barbeques include using a food thermometer along with tongs and spatulas when you're cooking. Always try to keep ice that cools food separate from ice used for beverages. And, after outdoor summer events: Beware of any leftovers that have been sitting out. "Researchers have found at least 250 types of foodborne illnesses that can make us sick or, even worse, put us in the hospital, and, for all people that fall into a high-risk category, it could even cause death," Amescua said. Health.mil
Brain stimulation improves short-term memory in older adults for a month, study finds
22 August- Up for a little noninvasive brain stimulation to boost your aging memory for that next big project, work meeting or family get-together? One day science may be able to offer such treatments, new research suggests. Sending electrical currents into two parts of the brain known for storing and recalling information modestly boosted immediate recall of words in people over 65, according to a study by a team at Boston University published Monday in Nature Neuroscience. "Whether, these improvements would occur for everyday memories, rather than just for lists of words, remains to be tested," said Masud Husain, a professor of neurology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oxford, in a statement. He was not involved in the study. Still, the study "provides important evidence that stimulating the brain with small amounts of electrical current is safe and can also improve memory," said Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic in the Center for Brain Health at Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. Improvements were most pronounced in people in the study with the poorest memories, who "would be considered to have mild cognitive impairment," said neuroscientist Rudy Tanzi, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, who was not involved with the study. "There was an apparently beneficial effect on immediate word recall in those with mild cognitive impairment," said Tanzi, who is also director of the genetics and aging research unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. CNN
Monkeypox antiviral drug put to the test in trial
23 August- The Oxford University team credited with finding effective drugs to treat Covid are trialling an antiviral called tecovirimat to aid monkeypox recovery. More than 3,000 people in the UK have caught the monkeypox virus in recent months, with more cases anticipated. The virus, which is spreading rapidly in other countries as well, has been declared a global health emergency. The infection typically gets better on its own, but recovery can take weeks and there can be serious complications. "The aim is to find a treatment that can help people get better quicker and get out of quarantine," said Professor Sir Peter Horby, one of the PLATINUM trial researchers at the University of Oxford. Around 500 patients will take part in the trial. Some will be treated twice-daily with tecovirimat tablets while they recuperate from the virus in their own home; others will receive a placebo - or dummy treatment - instead. By comparing the two groups of volunteers, the researchers hope to have the results for the drug trial within months.Tecovirimat - also known as Tpoxx - prevents the virus from leaving infected cells, stopping its spread within the body. It was licensed earlier this year for monkeypox, based on promising results from initial studies in animals and evidence of safety in healthy human volunteers. BBC News
Monkeypox has reached all 50 states
22 August- The monkeypox virus has reached all 50 states. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, Wyoming reported a single case of the virus on Monday, becoming the final state in the country to do so. In a news release, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) said the lone virus case is from a male resident in Laramie County, adding that state public health representatives have followed up with the infected individual to see if other residents had direct contact with him. “Because monkeypox spreads through close, intimate contact we do not believe the risk for the virus is now a higher concern for the local community or for most people in Wyoming,” said Alexia Harrist, a state health officer and state epidemiologist. “Monkeypox does not spread easily like familiar viruses such as influenza or COVID-19.” Harrist also said getting vaccinated is the best way to “prevent further spread” of the virus. “While anyone can become ill with monkeypox, vaccine eligibility is currently limited to people who are at highest risk in connection with this outbreak and how its spreading,” she said. “The goal is to put available vaccine supplies to the best possible use.” The Hill
Regular physical activity may lessen Covid risks, study finds
22 August- Regular exercise lowers your risk of developing Covid-19 or falling seriously ill with the disease, with about 20 minutes a day providing the greatest benefit, a global analysis of data suggests. Regular physical activity is linked to a lower risk of Covid-19 infection, severity, hospitalization and death, according to the new pooled data analysis of the available evidence published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. A weekly total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity appears to afford the best protection, the study suggests. “Regular physical activity seems to be related to a lower likelihood of adverse Covid-19 outcomes,” the team of Spanish researchers wrote. “Our analysis reveals that individuals who engage in regular physical activity have a lower likelihood of Sars-CoV-2 infection, Covid-19 hospitalization, severe Covid-19 illness and Covid-19-related death than physically inactive individuals, independent of design and instrument used.” Experts know that regular exercise has a protective effect against the severity of respiratory infections. Regular physical activity is associated with a range of health benefits, including the reduction of the incidence of risk factors for adverse Covid-19 outcomes such as being obese or having type 2 diabetes. Due to the limitations of the analysis, however, the findings should be interpreted with caution, the researchers said. Previous research suggests that physical activity can lessen both the risk and severity of respiratory infections due at least in part to its ability to boost the immune system. The link between regular physical activity and Covid-19 severity is poorly understood, but probably involves both metabolic and environmental factors, say the researchers, who set out to try to quantify the threshold of physical activity that might be needed to lessen the risks of infection and associated hospital admission and death. They searched major research databases for relevant studies published between November 2019 and March 2022. From an initial haul of 291, they pooled the results of 16. The Guardian
Rural cancer patients struggle with cost and distance to access promising cancer treatment
24 August- Suzanne BeHanna initially turned down an experimental but potentially lifesaving cancer treatment. Three years ago, the newlywed, then 62, was sick with stage 4 lymphoma, sick from two failed rounds of chemotherapy, and sick of living in a trailer park near the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. It was fall 2019, and treatment had forced her to migrate 750 miles east from rural New Mexico, where she'd settled only months before her diagnosis. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy might have been appealing to BeHanna if it were available closer to her home. But it is offered only at major transplant hospitals. BeHanna had been living in Houston for six months, suffering through chemotherapy that made her feel awful and didn't stop her cancer. She wanted to go home to die, but her husband wanted her to give CAR T-cell therapy a chance if her doctor would approve it. CNN
Taking the stings out of summer fun
15 August- Bees, with more than 25,000 species, have a critical role in nature, as well as commerce. They are responsible not just for honey, their winter food, but for pollinating food crops, as well as flowers. Wasps and hornets are also important as they hunt down aphids, caterpillars, and other pests that destroy plants and flowers -- including crops.
For many, a bee, hornet, or wasp sting is just unpleasant; but for others, it can be fatal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 1,100 people were stung from 2000 to2017; For about 62 people per year, it was fatal. The CDC reported the majority of deaths, about 80%, were males.
While estimates vary, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology estimates that insect sting allergies (includes fire ants, etc.) affect 5% of the population.
Sting reactions can range from mild reactions to severe.
Bees can only sting once, but hornets and wasps can sting repeatedly. A sting's usual effect is pain, swelling, and redness around the strike area. Sometimes, more swelling will develop over a day or two. The pain may take a couple of hours to resolve.
More severe reaction can involve hives, a lot of itching, difficulty breathing, throat and tongue swelling, rapid pulse, a drop in blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even a change or loss of consciousness, which is called anaphylactic shock.
Treatment and Response:
If you're attacked by a bee, wasp or hornet, run inside or, if can't do that, go toward a shaded area.
You want to get away from where the stinging insect is and where more could congregate. Don't swat at them as that can stimulate them to sting, and you're spending your energy in the same area, not in running away.
Jumping into water may not work as some stinging insects will hover above the surface, waiting.
If you are stung by a bee, and you can see the stinger, remove the stinger using tweezers, your fingernails, or even the edge of a credit card. Health.mil
Vitamin D supplements may help reduce chronic inflammation, study finds
15 August- Systematic low-grade inflammation is characterized by the prolonged release of inflammatory molecules and is linked to various health conditions. While vitamin D is classically known for regulating calcium levels, recent studies have shown that it may play a role in modulating the body’s inflammatory response too. For example, research has linked vitamin D concentrations in the blood with C-reactive protein levels (CRP), a widely used inflammatory biomarker. However, it remains unknown whether low vitamin D levels increase CRP levels, as demonstrated in randomized trials. Recently, researchers examined the evidence for whether vitamin D levels influence CRP levels in a new study. The researchers reported a direct link between low vitamin D levels and higher CRP levels. They say that their findings could provide an important biomarker for identifying people at risk of inflammatory illnesses. Medical News Today
CDC: Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report
2021-2022 Influenza Season for Week 32, ending August 13, 2022:
Novel Influenza A Virus-A human infection with a novel influenza A virus was reported by the Oregon Health Authority. The patient was infected with an influenza A(H1N2) variant (A(H1N2)v) virus. The patients is <18 years of age, was not hospitalized, and has recovered from their illness. An investigation by local public health officials did not identify contact with swine or agricultural fair attendance by the patient prior to illness onset. Additional investigation did not identify respiratory illness in any of the patient’s household contacts. No person-to-person spread of this virus has been confirmed to date associated with this case. This is the first patient infected with an H1N2v virus reported in the United States in 2022.
Outpatient Respiratory Illness Surveillance-The U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) monitors outpatient visits for influenza-like illness [ILI (fever plus cough or sore throat)], not laboratory-confirmed influenza, and will therefore capture respiratory illness visits due to infection with any pathogen that can present with similar symptoms, including influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and RSV. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health care-seeking behaviors have changed, and people may be accessing the health care system in alternative settings not captured as a part of ILINet or at a different point in their illness than they might have before the pandemic. Therefore, it is important to evaluate syndromic surveillance data, including that from ILINet, in the context of other sources of surveillance data to obtain a complete and accurate picture of influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and other respiratory virus activity. CDC is tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in a weekly publication called COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review. Information about other respiratory virus activity can be found on CDC’s National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) website. CDC
Blue Diamond Growers recalls Almonds after testing finds Salmonella
19 August- Blue Diamond Growers told Food Safety News that 100 percent of the potentially impacted whole brown almonds involved in the recall were recovered. Additionally, the almonds were to be used as ingredients in food manufacturing and were not used in Blue Diamond branded consumer products. Blue Diamond Growers of Sacramento, CA, is recalling nearly 350,000 pounds of almonds because of potential Salmonella contamination. The firm’s internal sampling identified a positive Salmonella result on the implicated lots of products. The recall was initiated on Aug. 5 and is ongoing. There is concern that some products may still be on consumers’ shelves. The recalled products were distributed in California, Colorado and Illinois. They were also distributed internationally in Germany, Morocco and Canada. Food Safety News
Wegmans dill butter recalled over potential Listeria contamination
22 August- Epicurean Butter LLC of Thornton, CO, is recalling its 3.5-ounce tubs of ” Wegmans Lemon Dill Finishing Butter” food because of a recall from their frozen dill supplier, SupHerb Farms, because of potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recalled products were distributed at Wegmans Food Markets in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington D.C. The product comes in a 3.5-ounce, black plastic cup with a Wegmans label around and on the lid. The cup has a sealed lidding film under the lid. There is a “Best By” and Lot # printed with blue ink by the label around the cup. As of the posting of this recall, no illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. Consumers who have purchased 3.5-ounce packages of “Wegmans Lemon Dill Finishing Butter” are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Food Safety News
9 habits linked to a longer, happier life
23 August- Whether it's pursuing a demanding career, eating better or maintaining friendships, accomplishing the feats we most desire requires a healthy foundation. Living life to the fullest starts with paying attention to your body and mind. "The long-term effects of good and bad health habits are cumulative. Simply stated, you cannot outrun your past," said Dr. William Roberts, a professor in the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Minnesota, via email. Getting enough physical activity and seeing your doctor regularly is a good place to start, CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen said. "There's a lot of evidence about the things we can do proactively that can improve our longevity as well as the quality," said Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. CNN
Ebola vaccine doses arrive in east Congo after new case confirmed
24 August- More than 200 Ebola vaccine doses have been brought to the Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern city of Beni, where a new case of the virus was confirmed this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. The latest confirmed case has been genetically linked to a 2018-2020 outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, which claimed nearly 2,300 lives. Six people were killed in another flare-up from that same outbreak last year. The jabs arrived in Beni on Tuesday and vaccination is due to begin "very shortly", WHO Congo said on Twitter, without providing a timeline or specifying where the shots were from. A WHO spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Congo's dense tropical forests are a natural reservoir for the Ebola virus, which causes fever, body aches, and diarrhea, and can linger in the body of survivors only to resurface years later. Reuters
Iraq Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever cases rise to 299
21 August- In a follow-up on the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) outbreak in Iraq, the Ministry of Health is now reporting 299 confirmed cases and 55 deaths nationwide since the beginning of the year. This is up from 289 cases and 52 deaths reported last week. Health officials say Dhi Qar governorate is the governorate in which hemorrhagic fever is most prevalent with 130 cases and 31 deaths. In addition to Dhi Qar, cases are reported in the following locations: 32 cases and 3 deaths in Maysan, 24 cases and 2 deaths each in Babil and Wasit, 19 cases and 6 deaths in Al-Muthanna, 11 cases and 1 death in Basrah, 11 cases in Al-Diwaniyah, 10 cases and 2 deaths in the Al-Karkh side of Baghdad, 9 cases and 1 death in Karbala, 7 cases and 2 deaths in the Al-Rusafa side of Baghdad, 6 cases in Nineveh, 3 cases and 1 death each in Erbil and Kirkuk, 3 cases in Al-Najaf, 2 cases and 2 deaths in Salah Al-Din, 2 cases and 1 death in Diyala, 2 cases in Duhok, and 1 case in Al-Anbar. Outbreak News Today
UK to offer mini dose of monkeypox jab amid low stocks
23 August- Three NHS sites are set to begin a pilot offering eligible patients smaller doses of monkeypox vaccine, amid global shortages of the jab. Experts say the reduced shots are just as effective and will mean more people are protected. The fractional dosing approach has been authorized in the US and the EU, as well as the UK. More than 3,000 people have been diagnosed with monkeypox in the UK since the epidemic began in May. Most cases of the virus have been among gay and bisexual men. However, anyone who comes into close contact with someone who has monkeypox could potentially contract the virus. Vaccination can help prevent new cases. UK officials say more than 33,000 regular dose shots have been given to some of those at the greatest risk of contracting the virus. But many more, who could benefit from being vaccinated, have not yet been immunized - and stocks of the vaccine are running low. BBC News
Singapore to drop most indoor mask requirements next week
23 August- Singapore will do away with requirements to wear masks indoors starting Aug. 29, as the country sees its COVID-19 situation stabilize further, the health minister said on Wednesday. For the first time in more than two years, people in the Southeast Asian city-state will no longer be required to wear masks indoors except on public transport and in high-risk settings like healthcare facilities. The health ministry also updated rules for non-vaccinated travelers, dropping a 7-day quarantine requirement starting next week. Singapore, which is a major Asian financial and travel hub, lifted most pandemic curbs, including travel restrictions, earlier this year. About 70% of the city-state's 5.5 million population has already contracted COVID-19, Ong Ye Kung, the health minister said in a news conference, adding that the re-infection rate is so far "very low". Singapore has vaccinated more than 90% of its population and has among the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. Reuters
Why has polio been found in New York, London and Jerusalem?
22 August- For years, global health officials have used billions of drops of an oral vaccine in a remarkably effective campaign aimed at wiping out polio in its last remaining strongholds — typically, poor, politically unstable corners of the world. Now, in a surprising twist in the decades-long effort to eradicate the virus, authorities in Jerusalem, New York and London have discovered evidence that polio is spreading there. The original source of the virus? The oral vaccine itself. Scientists have long known about this extremely rare phenomenon. That is why some countries, including the U.S., have switched to other polio vaccines. But these incidental infections from the oral formula are becoming more glaring as the world inches closer to eradication of the disease and the number of polio cases caused by the wild, or naturally circulating, virus plummets. CBS News
Monkeypox Vaccines Coming to the Caribbean and Latin America
24 August- Denmark-based Bavarian Nordic A/S announced today an agreement with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to facilitate access to the JYNNEOS® (MVA-BN) monkeypox/smallpox vaccine for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Jynneos vaccines will be made available to those countries in September 2022 that participate in PAHO's Revolving Fund for Access to Vaccines. Bavarian Nordic has delivered the vaccine to several undisclosed countries globally as part of their national biological preparedness. Paul Chaplin, President, and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, stated in a press release on August 24, 2022, "... we are pleased to work with PAHO to ensure access to vaccines for its member states in the Americas." "With the agreement, we have helped secure access to our vaccine in more than 70 countries globally, representing the vast majority of affected regions outside endemic areas." "While the global supply is currently limited, we are working diligently to increase our manufacturing capacity and have taken steps to partner with other companies to produce more vaccines to help combat the outbreak rapidly." The PAHO is the specialized health agency for the Americas, working with its 35 member countries throughout the region to improve and protect people's health. Precision Vaccinations